Resources at UCLA
The UCLA Neurologic Rehabilitation and Research Unit (Bruce H. Dobkin, MD, Director)
At the UCLA Medical Center, the Stroke Service cares for about 150 patients a year with an acute stroke. The Medical Center’s 11-bed Neurologic Rehabilitation and Research Unit (NRRU) manages about 100 patients with stroke yearly for the 15-30 days of their inpatient rehabilitation. About 30 patients with SCI and 50 with TBI are admitted. Starting July 2005, the inpatient service will expand to house 56 beds in a freestanding rehabilitation unit near the campus. The Stroke Clinic evaluates about 200 new outpatients and the Neurologic Rehabilitation Clinic assesses about 150 new outpatients with stroke yearly. Dr. Dobkin serves as a co-director of the Stroke Center and the director of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Unit and has access to all of these patients. About two-thirds of these patients live within 20 miles of the Medical Center. The directors of the UCLA Stroke Center received an award from the National Stroke Association in 2001 for “unparalleled patient care and service to the community.” In addition, two of the Stroke Center directors, including Dr. Dobkin, serve on the medical board of the Southern California Stroke Association, a large support group affiliated with the American Stroke Association. These relationships offer a large source of subjects.
Brain Mapping Center
The world-renown Brain Mapping Center includes Drs. John Mazziotta, Susan Bookheimer, Marc Cohen, Arthur Toga, Nancy Sicotte, Marco Iacoboni, and Jeff Alger, computer and mathematics experts, technicians, and other faculty from multiple departments at UCLA. The faculty participates, along with Dr. Woods, in the RehabNet West imaging core for training investigators in the western U.S. in uses of functional neuroimaging for rehabilitation. They are key members of the ICBM Project, a NIH-funded program with international ties that aims to map normal and pathological anatomic and physiologic states. Few centers anywhere have resources and expertise to match the UCLA Brain Mapping Center as a focus for neurorehabilitation research. It will be an invaluable source of training and scientific collaboration for CENT and for the development of Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure in the US.
The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI)
LONI resides within the Department of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine. The facility, completely remodeled during the latter half of 1987, was designed and furnished for the acquisition, processing, and storage of brain image data from a variety of sources.
The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging Resource (LONIR) develops novel strategies to investigate brain structure and function in their full multidimensional complexity. There is a rapidly growing need for brain models comprehensive enough to represent brain structure and function as they change across time, in large populations, in different disease states, across imaging modalities, across age and gender, and even across species. International networks of collaborators are provided with a diverse array of tools to create, analyze, visualize, and interact with models of the brain. A major focus of these collaborations is to develop 4D brain models that track and analyze complex patterns of dynamically changing brain structure in development and disease, expanding investigations of brain structure-function relationships to four dimensions.
The following four core research projects form a well-integrated program to characterize, measure and model both static and dynamic patterns of structural and functional changes in brain. The research program is centered on the fundamental recognition that anatomy is not static.
Surface Parameterization focuses on the extraction and analysis of complex shape information from anatomic or functional anatomic structures. This research builds on work in parametric mesh modeling and extends this work to 4D dynamic representations that allow for statistical analyses and comprehensive visualization.
Volume Parameterization takes a complementary approach to surface parameterization by developing a series of algorithms and programs to extract and visualize differences in brain shape using volume based, non-linear warping algorithms. These form the basis for statistical comparisons of brain shape descriptors enabling the modeling of developmental, degenerative and other processes. This statistical framework allows the comparison of morphological changes across populations thus enabling simultaneous comparisons across subjects.
Feature Extraction provides validated tools for the extraction of volumetric and surface features with the highest level of automation consistent with acceptable accuracy. The development of these tools is integrated with the Surface and Volume Parameterization research such that they facilitate reproducible, high-throughput and near-automated volumetric and surface analysis of volumetric MR brain data.
Integration & Visualization is focused on the development of multidimensional imaging tools that accommodate not only the spatial and intensity dimensions most commonly used, but also the addition of a time dimension, necessitating the development of sophisticated animation strategies. A software structure is being created that enables the development of "plug-in" modules for insertion into other software programs and that allows the appropriate amount of control for non-experienced users to examine and measure dynamic data.